Forgiveness isn't easy, but it's Necessary

Yesterday, I spent the morning with an old friend. A friend who I was hurt by. A friend who was once so close to me, but over time, drifted farther and farther away.

I've never had a lot of friends.

In fact, I've had the same best friend since Kindergarten, and the two weddings I was in this year were for women who I've known since high school and Freshman Year of college. Cultivating healthy female friendships has never come easily to me.

Not because I'm a bad friend, or a bad person. But because I've never been around girls I could relate to. As the daughter of an Afro-Latina immigrant many kids were confused as to what box to put me in. In other words, I was neither Black enough or Latino enough. I could never be the "tomboy"-ish girl that the guys liked to hang out with. Nor was I the girl they wanted to date.

The girls in my class growing up had their friends. Friends who they could go tanning with, go swimming with, shop at Hollister and Abercrombie with. And I couldn't do those things. Not only because my incredibly strict mother made it difficult for me to attend sleepovers and other classic American pastimes, but because as the only black girl in my class, with freshly pressed hair and God-gifted melanin, swimming and tanning weren't on the top of my to-do list.

So, my real friends came later in life. When we could bond over less trivial matters.

The last few years have been filled with people dropping in and out for different reasons, claiming to be my "friend" only to leave me high and dry after a few months or a year. I've had people use me for information regarding pageants, the entertainment industry, and even help in school. Making me think we were friends, only to break my heart shortly thereafter.

So when an old friend came back into my life, asking to go for a walk, I was hesitant.

Why would I open myself up to be hurt again?

But after receiving good advice from my mother, as always, I decided to give this friendship another shot.

I quickly learned that this person had changed significantly from the last time we were in contact. Not only were they much more real and genuine, but they also weren't fishing for information from me that could somehow benefit them. They've moved cities, started a new life with new friends, and I noticed these changes right away. They've been doing their own thing, living life, growing. And I've been sitting here, upset.

My mom used to always tell me: holding grudges or staying mad at someone is like you drinking poison, hoping it will make them sick.

It never does.

My advice to you, if you have someone in your life that you need to forgive, is do it now. Don't wait for tomorrow, don't wait for the New Year. Don't drink your own poison.

People can change, people can grow. Use your discernment and good judgment to know who has your best interest and who doesn't. But don't allow yourself to stay mad at someone who has changed and completely moved on with their life.

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